The function and appearance of your home’s driveway contribute a lot to its overall curb appeal. A broken and damaged driveway not only looks terrible, but it could even damage your tires or those of your guests. Every so often, then, you’ll have to replace it.
There are many ways to install an asphalt driveway. You can try to do it yourself, hire a handyman, or rely on a professional asphalt installation company. The quality of the installation will depend on who you choose. Here are some differences between the right way and the wrong way to install asphalt that dramatically impact the quality of the finished driveway.
Right Way: Removing Existing Driveway
To properly install a new asphalt driveway, it’s imperative to remove all of the existing driveway to create a flat surface. This is true whether the existing driveway is made of asphalt or some other surface, such as pea gravel. This will give your new driveway the best chance of staying intact the longest.
Wrong Way: Paving Over Existing Driveway
Some contractors or DIY kits suggest paving your new asphalt driveway over your existing driveway, as it will save time and could potentially lower the cost. However, this is a terrible idea, as installing an asphalt driveway over an uneven surface weakens its structure. It is worth the time and effort to remove all of the existing driveway before installation.
Right Way: Letting the Base Settle
Underneath a properly installed asphalt driveway is a base, usually constructed of soil and crushed rock. This base is important for drainage, among other construction-related concerns. It takes time for the base to settle properly to be able to install asphalt over it. It’s important to allow this time.
Wrong Way: Rushing to Put on Asphalt
For some contractors, installing the highest number of driveways is a priority because it maximizes their profitability. This often leads to substandard installation jobs that don’t last. If your contractor doesn’t give the base time to settle and instead rushes to install the asphalt surface, he or she is prioritizing profits over the quality of your installation job.
Right Way: Relying on a Professional Contractor
For the best results, you want to hire a professional asphalt installation company or contractor. Installing smooth and lasting asphalt takes expertise and experience gained from many asphalt projects. Don’t skimp so much that it impacts the quality of your finished driveway.
Wrong Way: Buying a DIY Patching Kit
In some cases, DIY asphalt patching is sufficient. This is true when you have only small cracks that have not been left alone long enough to allow water intrusion. Once the cracks are larger, though, or your driveway has developed potholes or overall unevenness, the time has passed for DIY patching. At this point, you need to call in an expert. It is still possible that your driveway may be repairable, depending on its condition, but only with professional equipment and expertise. Get a reliable asphalt contractor to assess the situation and perform the work correctly.
Do you need a professional asphalt installation company to replace your driveway? Call TopWest Asphalt at 1-800-ASPHALT to schedule your driveway installation project.